Bhubaneswar: In a fresh tale of youth overcoming poverty to scale the ladder of success, 14 underprivileged students in Odisha have cracked the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).
Beating all odds these 14 students cleared the exam this year and the credit goes to 47-years-old Ajaya Bahadur Singh.
Singh, who hails from Odisha wanted to become a doctor but he couldn't fulfill his dream. So, instead, he started 'Zindagi' foundation in 2017 to help the underprivileged students, who aim to become doctors.
Modelled along the lines of Super 30, a record-setting program run by the acclaimed mathematician Anand Kumar, Zindagi is specifically set for students that are highly talented but have financial limitation to undertake the highly-expensive tuition classes.
"In 2018, students came to Zindagi. 18 students had qualified and out of them 12 took admissions in different medical colleges of Odisha," Singh said.
Singh aspired to become a doctor but family obligations prevented him from pursuing higher education. His father was an engineer and aspired to make his son a doctor.
However, a kidney transplant of Singh's father forced the family to sell their property, leaving them financially constrained. In order to support his family, Singh had to sell tea. However, he completed his graduation from Sociology Honours.
"I always wanted to be a doctor and I was preparing for it as well. But my studies suffered due to kidney failure of my father. I started my career by selling tea and syrup. After completing intermediate education, I used to sell soda making machine. I gave tuitions as well to complete my education," he said.